After a loss to unbeaten Paris to start the week, Booneville welcomed West Fork to town last Thursday.
You might as well have called it Sophomore Night.
Setter/hitter Hayley Lunsford had a career night and by the time she was finished, she had accomplished what only three other LadyCats had ever done by putting up a triple-double. Lunsford had 14 kills, 21 assists and 10 digs as the LadyCats once again got their record back to .500 at 6-6-3, 3-3 in the conference.
The others to accomplish the triple-double are Hiley Sage Catlett (twice in 2013), Sarah Hotubbee in 2009, and Aleeah Blansett last season.
Joleigh Tate almost got one of her own, getting nine kills, eight blocks and 10 digs, while Katelynn Spain served six aces and had 20 digs.
With Brooklyn Zarlingo adding 10 kills and 21 digs, the LadyCats put the ball down 45 times and got it up 88 times.
The LadyCats open the second half of conference play with a trip to Charleston tomorrow night.
LadyCats def. West Fork (25-16, 25-23, 23-25, 25-11)
The first Booneville kill of the match came from an unlikely source as Katelynn Spain scored with a back-row attack. Hayley Lunsford promptly followed with an ace and Josie O’Bar scored with a kill. Later, Spain would add another back-row kill and Booneville would also get spikes from Lunsford, Brooklyn Zarlingo and two in short order from Abby O’Bar. The second one of those put Spain on the serve line; she would serve four aces, Josie O’Bar fired three kills and Zarlingo another for 23-10. Lunsford would finish it off with two more kills.
The LadyCats also came out flying in the second game; Lunsford started it with another ace and Joleigh Tate and Jessica Cauthon would follow that with kills. Later, Tate would serve three consecutive aces for 12-4, but WF mounted a comeback to get within 15-13. Spain halted that with two more aces and Tate scored once as well but the Lady Tigers wouldn’t go away as they made a seven-point run to tie it up at 21. But Tate then got another ace and Zarlingo rammed one down to win the game.
Booneville sought to close it out in the third game as three kills by Lunsford and two by Zarlingo put BHS up 9-6. But then the LadyCats ran into problems holding their serve and the Lady Tigers took advantage. Down 15-13, WF made an 11-3 run. A Lunsford kill halted that and Keara Ross stepped to the serve line. Cauthon, Tate and Zarlingo promptly got kills and Tate swatted one down. A West Fork error made it 24-23, but the next serve went long.
The LadyCats would leave no doubt in the fourth game. Cauthon started the attack with a kill, Tate scored with three straight and Lunsford finished the opening salvo with a dump in the middle, to which she would soon add another. The Lady Tigers managed to get within 12-9 but Lunsford took care of that with two more dumps. A Ross kill and a Tate block finished off the decisive 8-0 run; Ross would later serve two aces and it was only fitting that the match ended with Lunsford dropping yet another tip into the middle of the West Fork defense.
That gave Lunsford 14 kills in all, six of which came in the last game, to go with 21 assists and 10 digs. Tate had a career high with 9 kills and added eight blocks, 10 digs and four aces. Zarlingo had 10 kills and 21 digs, and Spain served six aces and got 20 digs. The O’Bar sisters also enjoyed a good night with Josie nailing four kills and Abby getting four blocks.
Paris def. LadyCats (25-18, 25-14, 25-9)
The Lady Eagles scored four of the first five points, but Booneville came back, fueled by a Brylee Washburn block of an Alyssa Komp tip attempt. Brooklyn Zarlingo’s first kill of the match got BHS within 9-6 and after a Hayley Lunsford kill, Joleigh Tate denied Akira Robinson at the net for 16-13. She followed that with a kill and an ace and then Zarlingo put it through a Paris double block to make it 20-18. But the Lady Eagles ran off the next five for the win.
Booneville went in front early in the second game as a Tate kill helped the LadyCats to a 4-2 lead. Paris took the lead, but a Lunsford spike got Booneville within 8-6. But then Paris’s Jacee Hart started finding a home down the line as Faith Mainer picked off the corners, and soon the Lady Eagles had a seven-point lead. Tate continued to have a good second game, but she got little support and Paris scored the last four of the game, capped by an ace from Hart.
The Lady Eagles then stepped on the gas early in the third game as Komp, who had been held in relative check, got her game going. The sophomore had six kills in the game; Zarlingo did her best to match that, getting three of her own. But that was far too little as Paris moved to 12-0. Zarlingo led Booneville with six kills, and Tate added four.